Who would have guessed the Steelers would pitch their first ever shutout at Heinz Field on a day when Pro-Bowlers Casey Hampton and Troy Polamalu were on the shelf with injuries? Not me, but I also would not have guessed Dick LeBeau would bring so little pressure throughout the day, and instead focus on dropping back in outstanding coverage schemes that left Seattle befuddled all day.
The Steelers secondary just blanketed the Seahawks all day. Ryan Clark set the tone early, laying the wood on all those who dared come over the middle. From the second quarter on really, the Seattle WRs played weak off the line of scrimmage and really didn't compete at all. It was pretty embarassing if you are a Seahawks fan. Still, I was ecstatic to see Ike Taylor have a stand-out game. Anthony Smith played a sound game in place of Polamalu; so too did Tyrone Carter. Hasselback had no success against Deshea, rookie William Gay (who I'm pretty high on), or Ricardo Colclough.
It's hard to really see what's materializing in the defensive backfield with the camerage angles you get watching on a television, but it seemed as if there were fewer exposed chunks of real estate in our defense because we were blitzing less with corners and safetys. All day we showed blitz, but more often than not dropped out of it and fell into a zone that the 'Hawks hadn't seen on film and weren't prepared for.
Dick LeBeau - Renaissance Man
In their defense, the Seahawks were playing without their top 2 WRs and a banged up Shaun Alexander, but the Steelers found a way to be productive in the passing game despite not having their top two receiving threats either. Regardless, Dick LeBeau threw Mike Holmgren a curveball and the Seahawks wiffed. And now, although it's now on film, opposing teams will have to gameplan for yet another addition to Dick LeBeau's bag of tricks.